It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that we return to Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College. We, in the Wellbeing Team, are continually struck by the honesty, humility and sense of community that is so evident as we enter the gates from Maidstone Street. The students are so energised and excited to be at MSJ. We feel privileged to support you and your family as you journey with us and look forward to your continued partnership.

Welcome to our Year 7 families, new students to the College and returning families to our Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College Community. It has been a busy start to the school year, but l have been impressed to see so many young women commit themselves to their study and establishing such positive study skills. The College theme for 2020, ‘Humility opens us to love’, will provide a framework for all members of our community to continue to develop positive relationships and a deeper awareness of the other. The theme really promotes our understanding of how actions, interactions and thoughts promote a deeper awareness of self and others. It is through recognising the gift of other and self that we celebrate life to the full. Our theme this year challenges students to accept who they are as young women, and to challenge themselves to grow fully as young women in the ‘image and likeness of God’. Each new academic year provides opportunities for students to meet new people and to celebrate, challenge and affirm our differences and diversity.

Student Led Conferences

It was lovely to meet so many families at our recent Year 7 Parent Information Night and Student Led Conferences. Student voice is an important aspect of our College for our learners to own and direct their learning, wellbeing and faith. The energy and strong sense of community was testament to the partnerships developed here at Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College. The format this year enabled all families to attend their chosen interview and to deepen their understanding of their daughter’s learning. Thank you to the many families who attended. This evening was only the beginning of the many conversations centred on your daughter’s learning, wellbeing and faith. I urge you to continue these conversations and place your daughter’s learning and growth at the heart of conversations.

Our Wellbeing Team

This year, our Wellbeing Team is ably led and supported by our Wellbeing Leaders: Ms Morlin (Year 7); Mrs Sammut (Year 8); Ms Sexton (Year 9); Mrs Thompson (Providence & McCormack ); Mrs Duncan (Penola & Kincumber); Mrs Kubacki (Cameron & Solomon); and Ms Bourke as the Director of Student Wellbeing. This year, we continue to arrange our Senior Learning Mentor Groups – students in Years 10, 11 and 12 – into Houses. Each Senior Learning Mentor Group will have approximately twenty-five students who will be supported by the one Learning Mentor over the three years. We believe arranging students in this format will ensure each learner and her family in the Senior School will be intimately known by one staff member and the same House Leader. The Wellbeing Leaders are capably supported by hardworking and committed Learning Mentors.

A gentle reminder that in the Wellness Centre, we now have two Allied Health Professionals; a psychologist - Mrs Susha Vance, and social workers; Ms Jacinta McMahon and Ms Clare Duong-Thai, who can support you and your daughter.

If you were unable to attend our recent Parent Information Night or Student Led Conferences, l encourage you to contact your daughter’s Learning Mentor and to introduce yourself. Attached to this newsletter is the name of each Learning Mentor and their email address. It is important to utilise a student’s Learning Mentor as the first contact person. Feel free to contact them via email or telephone.

I would like to formally invite students, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and other significant role models to our International Women’s Day Breakfast to be celebrated at the College on Friday 6 March at 7:30am in the Mary MacKillop Centre. Please follow this LINK to RSVP.


In Terms 1 and 4, the College blazer is optional, however, the jumper must not be worn as the outer garment. Students in Year 12 are only permitted to wear the College Year 12 Commemorative Hoodie on Fridays.

SunSmart: As Term 1 is often the warmest month and U.V rays are strongest, it is expected that all students wear sunscreen from home. Around the College, students are also able to apply additional sunscreen. The likelihood of developing skin cancer is often developed in adolescence. I encourage families to view the YouTube clip “Dear 16 year old me”.


Families are to use the Harrington Square Carpark when dropping off and collecting students. Over the past couple of weeks, a few families have been parking on Maidstone Street. Please note that this is a No Standing Zone, as it can become very easily congested. Parking inspectors will be monitoring the situation.

Please do not park over driveways or on people’s nature strip. Late last year, we received phone calls from our neighbours in Civic Parade. Again, the safest place to collect your daughter at the end of the day is in Harrington Square.

Supervision before School

Gates will be opened at 7:55am; students are to remain in the Sails Area and TWLC Courtyard. Byrne Ground Floor Toilets are open for student access. In wet weather, the PAC will be open for students.

At 8:15am, Yard Duty commences. Corridors are opened and students can place materials in lockers and begin organising their day.

Student Safety and Wellbeing - A Child-safe School

At Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College, we hold the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as a central and fundamental responsibility of our school. Our commitment is drawn from and inherent in the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospel (CECV Commitment Statement to Child Safety). Celebrating and affirming all young people in the Charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, we value the dignity and individuality of each person in our community and seek to live in a community guided by justice and fairness for all.

For our students to flourish academically and in all areas of their lives, it is important that they are happy and enjoy being at school. Their safety, and physical and mental wellbeing, are of paramount importance to us.

Where can I go for help?

We encourage any student who feels unsafe to confide in a trusted adult or contact the College's Child Safety Officers, Mr Steven Mifsud and Ms Stacey Bourke in person or by email:

The College has psychologists who are available to help students and their families. Our Wellbeing Team includes psychologists, the Director of Student Wellbeing, Wellbeing Leaders, Teachers, and Learning Mentors.

Helpful Online & Telephone Support Services


Youth Beyondblue

Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria 1300 550 236

LifeLine 131 114

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

Suicide Line 1300 651 251

Domestic Violence Crisis Line 1800 200 526

Orygen Youth Health 1800 888 320

Department of Human Services 1300 650 172

Eating Disorders 1300 550 236

Youth Drug & Alcohol Advice (YoDAA) 1800 458 685

Mobile Phones

Students are able to access their mobile phones at recess and lunchtime. Students are not permitted to use their telephone during class time. Students must report to Reception if they are feeling unwell and the First Aid Officer will contact the parents. Students should not contact their parents directly seeking permission to go home early.

Healthy Eating, Healthy Mind

Just a gentle reminder to families and students that breakfast is an essential meal for the day. Students should not begin school without a breakfast of cereal, toast or yoghurt. A good breakfast establishes good eating routines for the day and fuels our body for learning and physical activity. Students are reminded that the College canteen provides a selection of breakfast items and healthy lunches of garden and fruit salads. Students should not visit Harrington Square before a school day.

Absences: A reminder to telephone Reception between 8:00am and 9:00am on 9398 2000 for notification if your daughter is unable to attend school. Students need to provide a note from their parents explaining their absence, which is to be given to their Learning Mentor when they return to school. Notes are not to be written in the diary as staff are required to keep these on file. Students who arrive late to school must report to the office to receive a late pass before going to class.

Looking after valuables: Students are reminded that the College provides each student with a locker and lock, and all valuables should be securely kept in their locker.

Every Day & Minute Counts

Going to school every day is the single most important part of your child’s education. Students learn new things at school every day – missing school puts them behind.

Why it’s important:

We all want our students to get a great education, and the building blocks for a great education begin with students coming to school each and every day and on time.

Students develop good habits by going to school every day – habits that are necessary to succeed after school, whether in the workplace or in further study.

Missing school can have a big impact on students academically and socially. It can affect their test results, including VCE, and, just as importantly, it can affect their relationships with other students, and lead to social isolation.

There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind and can affect their educational outcomes.

Each missed day is associated with falling behind in subject topics and assessment tasks, and lead to fewer subject choices and may impact on achievement in Years 11 and 12.

Getting in early

It’s never too late to improve attendance – going to school more often can lead to better outcomes. Even at Year 9, when attendance rates for all students are lowest, going to school more often can make a big difference. Every day counts.

Schools are there to help – if you are having attendance issues with your child, speak to us about ways to address those issues.

What we can do

The main reasons for absence are:

Sickness – There are always times when students need to miss school, such as when they are ill. It is vital that they are only away on the days they are genuinely sick, and setting good sleep patterns, eating well and exercising regularly can make a big difference.

“Day off” – Think twice before letting your child have a “day off” as they could fall behind their classmates.

Remember, every day counts. If your child must miss school, speak with your child’s Learning Mentor or Wellbeing Leader as early as possible.

If you are having attendance issues with your child, please let your daughter’s Learning Mentor, Wellbeing Leader, or Ms Bourke know, so you can work together to get your daughter to school every day.


Punctuality is an important life skill and students are reminded to be at school by 8:30am and to attend classes on time. We ask that parents assist us with this expectation and life skill.

Parent Workshops

On Wednesday 11 March from 7:00pm–8.30pm, the College has organised an evening of Parent Workshops. Parents are able to choose two forty-five minute workshops. The Workshops are designed to cater for families with students in Years 7 to 12. The Workshops include presentations on study techniques, navigating CANVAS, and by Victoria Police. It would be wonderful to see many parents on the night. Click HERE to register.